Last night, the NBA revealed the rest of its 2013 All-Star Teams, adding some reserves to go to the already-announced starters. As always, there are some nice stories - oh look, Tim Duncan's going for the 14th time while Jrue Holiday and Kyrie Irving each got their first bid!
It would be much more heartwarming if, you know, the rosters actually had the correct people.
According to numberFire's nERD-based power rankings, which measure's a player's overall contribution to his team through his efficiency, we can determine just who should have made the All-Star Team. I'm throwing in two caveats to be a true All-Star: you must have started at least half of your team's games (sorry Kevin Martin) or average 30 minutes per game (sorry Tiago Splitter).
With that in mind, let's take a look at our results for the Eastern Conference first, with the Western Conference coming later today.
The Real-Life Starters
The Ideal Starters
|Carmelo Anthony||New York Knicks||9|
|LeBron James||Miami Heat||6|
|Dwyane Wade||Miami Heat||9|
|George Hill||Indiana Pacers||1|
|Tyson Chandler||New York Knicks||1|
Yes, not only should George Hill be an All-Star, but he should be an All-Star starter. After Jose Calderon just barely missed out on the team because of our minutes-played stipulation, Hill thrust himself into the spotlight as the leader of the 26-17 Pacers squad. And when you look at his stats against Rondo's, it's not too surprising. Hill has a better offensive rating (110 to 103), defensive rating (102 to 103), and turnover percentage (12.4 to 22.5). Rondo does indeed have the insane assist percentage (50.5, leading the NBA), but that's not Hill's main duty - five different Pacers have an assist percentage at 15 percent or above. Considering the Pacers' overall stronger play this season, Hill should have gotten his first nod over the PG for the 20-22 Celtics.
As for Chandler? Well, his Knicks are the most surprising team in the NBA this season, and his current 138 offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) is on pace to break the All-Time NBA record. Enough said.
The Real-Life Reserves
The Ideal Reserves
Where's the Brooklyn and Indiana love? Two of the biggest stories in the Eastern Conference, currently sitting at third and fifth in playoff race, and they only have one combined All-Star? Let the Barclays Center and Bankers Life Fieldhouse rise in anger over these injustices.
The Eastern Conference guard pool is really, really weak; Kyle Korver would have made our All-Star roster over Irving if he played more shooting guard rather than small forward. But instead, it's left to Deron Williams to be our only snub on the Eastern reserves. Sure, Jrue Holiday may have Williams in terms of assist percentage (41.5 to 37.2), but it's Williams who has the lead at ORtg (Williams up +10) and turnover percentage (+3.3%) while the two are tied with a 108 DRtg. The only reason Holiday has more points per game is his 3.4 percent higher usage rating. In effect, Williams is being punished for dishing it off to talented teammates such as Brook Lopez to get the points.
In speaking of Lopez, he may be the biggest snub in the entire Eastern Conference. Compared to Joakim Noah, Lopez has a better offensive rating (Lopez leads by +9), block percentage (1.9%), and Player Efficiency Rating (+8.5), while Noah only has him beat at defensive rating (+6) and rebound percentage (1.2). Against Garnett, the disparity is even worse, as Lopez has him beat in every single category except DRtg (at which Garnett is only +3). Lopez's 25.4 PER ranks fourth in the NBA, while his block percentage and usage percentage are both in the top ten.
Al Horford, meanwhile, just barely squeaks onto our team over Joakim Noah (by 0.2 nERD score, or 3 spots on our overall player rankings). The main reason is the offensive prowess Horford shows - his 109 offensive rating is four points higher than Joakim Noah, and he means more to his team with a 3.1 percent higher usage rating. Noah does have the better rebound and block percentages, which makes this a close battle. However, the Atlanta Hawks sneak in a participant by just a hair over the Bulls.
Finally, Luol Deng over David West? Somebody's had a few too many Portillo's sandwiches. West has a better effective field goal percentage (+.002), rebound percentage (3.7%), assist percentage (3.4%), turnover percentage (-1.0%), and defensive rating (-4), while the two are tied at offensive rating at 106. You can't even make the argument that Luol Deng means more to his team - West has a 3.2 percent higher usage rating. There isn't a single category where I'd take Luol Deng over David West at forward... except for good ole name recognition.
Three Most Confusing Eastern Conference All-Stars
3. Jrue Holiday
2. Luol Deng
1. Kevin Garnett
Three Biggest Eastern Conference All-Stars Snubs
3. David West
2. George Hill
1. Brook Lopez
Editor's Note: The ideal Western Conference All-Star Team can be found here.